Wednesday, July 23, 2014


The total land area of Lānaʻi is 89,305 acres, divided into 13 ahupua‘a (traditional land divisions.)  In the traditional system, respective konohiki served as land managers over each. These konohiki were subject to control by the ruling chiefs.

At the time of the Great Māhele (1848,) lands on Lānaʻi were divided between lands claimed by King Kamehameha III (Kauikeaouli) (40,665 acres,) which were known as the Crown Lands, and the lands to be claimed by the chiefs and people (48,640 acres,) which were called the Government Lands.

By 1907, more than half the island of Lānaʻi was in the hands of native Hawaiians. Just 14 years later, in 1921, only 208.25 acres of land remained in native Hawaiian ownership. By 1875 Walter Gibson had control, either through lease or direct ownership, of nine‐tenths of Lānaʻi’s lands. (Lānaʻi Community Plan)

When James Dole bought Lānaʻi, ranching was a thriving business under the control of George Munro. Shortly after the purchase, Dole got Munro working at removing cattle from potential pineapple lands. As soon as cattle were fattened they were sold. Ranching operations became a secondary priority to pineapple development.

During 1923, the company embarked on making major improvements to the island of Lānaʻi.  At first, Dole wanted to name the town Pine City, but the post office department objected because there were too many "pine" post offices in the mainland United States.  So the plantation town was called Lānaʻi City.

Dole hired Mr. Root, an engineer, to lay out and plan the town. Root arrived at Mānele Bay to begin his work. He designed the central park with a symmetrical grid of residential streets, which remains the configuration of Lānaʻi City today.” (Lānaʻi Community Plan)

Between 1922 and 1992, pineapple plantation operations provided the people of Lānaʻi with a way of life.  James Doles’ Hawaiian Pineapple Company evolved and many of the innovations in cultivation, equipment design, harvesting, irrigation and labor relations developed on the Lānaʻi plantation, and came to be used around the world. (Lānaʻi Culture & Heritage Center)

Mānele Bay was the main port of entry for Lānaʻi; its primary purpose was to ship pineapple off the island. On the eastern side of the island, remnants of Halepalaoa Landing can be seen; this was used primarily to ship cattle. It's also reported that in the late 1800s, a steamer landing was located on the western shore of Lānaʻi Island and served as a docking grounds.

A new harbor was needed.  In 1923 to 1926, Kaumālapaʻu Bay, a natural, sheltered cove on the southwest side of Lānaʻi, was developed into the main shipping harbor from which pineapple and all major supplies for Lānaʻi were shipped and received.

“… we learned that the breakwater is composed of 116,000-tons of rock blasted from the cliffs and dropped into the water.  The Kaumalapau harbor entrance is 65-feet deep, and the minimum depth of the harbor is 27-feet.  The wharf is 400-feet long and the boat landing is 80-feet in length.”  (Lanai “The Pineapple Kingdom, 1926)

Bins filled with pineapple were unloaded from the trucks (steam cranes were still used through the 1960s), and placed on the barges for shipping to the cannery at Iwilei, Honolulu, Oʻahu. Tug boats were used to haul the barges - empty bins and supplies to Lānaʻi, and filled pineapple bins to the cannery.

Because of the demands of work at Kaumālapaʻu, Lānaʻi’s “second city” was developed, and known as “Harbor Camp.” The Harbor Camp included around 20 homes and support buildings, and sat perched on the cliffs above Kaumālapaʻu Bay.  (Lānaʻi Culture & Heritage Center)

Surmising from the vast archaeological features on the cliffs above Kaumālapaʻu Gulch, Kaumālapaʻu Harbor was probably a very important settlement (seasonal and/or permanent) for native Hawaiians. (Social Research Pacific)

Access to fishing, whether by boat or off the shoreline, is easily attained at Kaumālapaʻu.  One of the sites immediately mauka of the harbor is called “Fisherman's Trail.” In the 1862 letter requesting settlement and use of Lānaʻi, even Gibson indicated the importance of fishing as the primary source of subsistence for the island's inhabitants.

The village of Kaunolu, just to the south of Kaumālapaʻu was known as a "fishing village". Given its proximity to Kaumālapaʻu, it is highly likely that neighboring Kaumālapaʻu also offered good fishing grounds to Hawaiians. The Kaumālapaʻu Trail extends from Lānaʻi City down to Kaumālapaʻu.   (Social Research Pacific)

In the Māhele, the ahupuaʻa of Kamoku and Kalulu (which adjoin the existing Kaumālapaʻu Harbor) were retained by the King (Kamehameha III), though the 'ili of Kaumālapaʻu 1 & 2 were given by the King to the Government.

The Kaumālapaʻu Harbor breakwater was in disrepair for many years following several hurricanes and seasonal storms.  Completed in 2007, 40,000-tons of new stone was added to the reshaped breakwater, 800 concrete Core-Locs (each weighing 35 tons) were put in place and a 5-foot- thick concrete cap was cast on top of the breakwater to complete the project.  (Traylor)

Today, as in the early 1920s, Kaumālapaʻu Harbor is the main commercial seaport and Lānaʻi’s lifeline to the outside world, with weekly Young Brothers’ barge and other commercial activity in and out of Lānaʻi.

The image shows initial construction of the Kaumālapaʻu facilities (1924) (Lanai-PineappleKingdom.)  In addition, I have added other related images in a folder of like name in the Photos section on my Facebook and Google+ pages.

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Tuesday, July 22, 2014

John Coffin Jones Jr

John Coffin Jones Jr was the only son of a prominent Boston businessman (in mercantile and shipping business) and politician. (John C Jones Sr served as speaker of the Massachusetts House of Representatives and was legislative colleague of John Quincy Adams (and one of the signors for Massachusetts of the Ratification of the US Constitution for that State.))

Young Jones was born in 1796 in Massachusetts and seems to have gone to sea at an early age.  He left to work in the sandalwood trade under Captain Dixey Wildes.   (Kelley)

Jones (also known in Hawaiian documents as John Aluli) was appointed US Agent for Commerce and Seamen on September 19, 1820. When he acknowledged his commission as Agent for Commerce and Seamen, he mentioned two previous voyages he had made to Canton and an extended visit to the Sandwich Islands.  (State Department)

He began to serve in October of 1820, at the port of Honolulu.   As Agent for Commerce and Seamen, Jones became the first official US representative in the Hawaiian Islands.  His role was to help distressed American citizens ashore, both seamen and civilians, serving without salary from the US government and required to report on commerce in Hawai‘i.

(The post of commercial agent was raised to Consul effective July 5, 1844, and held by Peter A. Brinsmade, who had already been appointed commercial agent on April 13, 1838.)

Jones was already agent for the prosperous Boston firm of Marshall and Wildes (one of four American mercantile houses doing business in Honolulu,) and by accepting the additional responsibility from his country, the firm and he might hope that through his reports to Washington the voice of commerce in the Pacific would be heard more clearly by the US Government.  (Hackler)

When Jones arrived in 1821 the sandalwood trade with China was still thriving. King Kamehameha I had monopolized, the cutting and exporting of sandalwood during his reign, but after his death in 1819, Kamehameha II was unable to enforce the conservation policies of his father, and unrestricted cutting of sandalwood soon threatened to deplete the hillsides of this rare wood.

But, while the wood lasted and the market held up in Canton, the American merchants in Honolulu competed fiercely with each other for the valuable cargoes, and pressed on the Hawaiians all sorts of goods which were to be paid for in sandalwood.  (Hackler)

He was considered an advocate for commercial interests in Hawaiʻi and immediately collided with the missionary group led by Rev. Hiram Bingham.  For the next couple of decades he contended for commercial advantages for the US. He set up his own trading firm in 1830 and made many voyages to California during the next ten years.  (Kelley)

 “Since the discovery of the whale fishery on the coast of Japan, and the independence of the republics of the western coasts of North and South America, the commerce of the United States at the Sandwich islands has vastly increased.”

“Of such importance have these islands become to our ships which resort to the coast of Japan for the prosecution of the whale fishery, that, without another place could be found, possessing equal advantages of conveniences and situation, our fishery on Japan would be vastly contracted, or pursued under circumstances the most disadvantageous.”  (Jones, to Captain Wm B Finch, October 30, 1829)

As US Agent for Seamen, Jones had a burdensome responsibility.  Many seamen were put ashore because of illness, and they became the special concern of Jones. This was a responsibility and an expense.

In his first report to the Secretary of State on December 31, 1821, Jones complained of the commanders of American ships who were in the habit of discharging troublesome seamen at Honolulu and taking on Hawaiian hands.  (Hackler)

In addition, Jones reported to the Department that 30,000 piculs of sandalwood were sent to China in American ships that year, and estimated that the price for this wood in Canton should be about $300,000. The Hawaiian chiefs were becoming increasingly indebted to the American merchants in Honolulu and payment was slow in coming.

To add to his burden, in 1822-23 the crews of three wrecked American vessels were brought to the islands; in 1825 he explained his disbursements at Honolulu on behalf of seamen as being very heavy, as many men were put ashore without funds.  (Hackler)

“The number of hands generally comprising the Company of a whale ship will average Twenty Five; and owing to the want of discipline, the length and the ardourous duties of the voyage, these people generally become dissatisfied and are willing at any moment to join a rebellion or desert the first opportu(nity) that may offer;"

"- this has been fully exemplified in the whale ships that  have visited these islands, constant disertions have taken place and many serious mutinies both contributing to protract and frequently ruin the voyage.”  (Jones report to Henry Clay, Secretary of State, 1827)

He wrote that the only solution was the posting of a US naval vessel at Honolulu, at least during the periods between March and May, and October and December, when the whalers gathered at the port.  (Hackler)

The service of Jones as consular agent in Honolulu put him in the middle of a number of commercial and political causes. Both as government representative and private trader during a formative period, he was an energetic figure and is credited with leadership in opening trade between Hawaiʻi and Spanish California.

By 1829, Jones seemed to have fallen out of favor with the Hawaiian rulers. At that time the King and the principal chiefs addressed a protest to Captain Finch of the USS Vincennes, accusing Jones of maltreating a native and lying about royal morals.  (Hackler)

Jones’ several marriages caused additional concern. He married Hannah Jones Davis, widow of his partner, William Heath Davis Sr, in 1823.  His younger stepson, William Heath Davis, Jr, became a prominent California businessman.

Jones continued to live with Hannah but also lived with Lihilahi Marin, daughter of Don Francisco Marin, and had children by both. In 1838, he married Manuela Carrillo of Santa Barbara, California and deserted Hannah and Lahilahi.

In December, 1838, returning from one of his periodic business trips to California, he introduced Manuela as his wife. This apparently enraged Hannah Holmes Jones, who promptly petitioned the Hawaiian Government for a divorce on grounds of bigamy.

The charge was upheld by the King and led to his writing Jones on January 8, 1839, that “… I refuse any longer to know you as consul from the United States of America.”  (Kamehameha III; Hacker)

Jones left the Islands and settled in Santa Barbara in 1839 and continued as a merchant both in California and Massachusetts. He died on December 24, 1861, leaving his wife and six children.  (Kelley)

The image shows Honolulu Harbor in 1826 (with the Dolphin in the harbor. (Massey))

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Monday, July 21, 2014


ʻĀina is compounded from the verb “ʻai” (to eat,) referring specifically to vegetable foods, with the substantive suffix “na,” which makes it a noun. The word ʻāina (land,) then, means “that which feeds.”

In old Hawaiʻi’s subsistence society, the family farming scale was far different from commercial-purpose agriculture.  In ancient time, when families farmed for themselves, they adapted; products were produced based on need.  The families were disbursed around the Islands, as well as across regions on each island.

Traditional hale (‘house’, ‘building’) were constructed of native woods lashed together with cordage most often made from olonā.  Pili grass was a preferred thatching that added a pleasant odor to a new hale. Lauhala (pandanus leaves) or ti leaf bundles called peʻa were other covering materials used.

Unlike our housing today, the single ‘hale’ was not necessarily the ‘home.’ The traditional Hawaiian home was the kauhale (Lit., plural house;) this was a group of structures forming the living compound - homestead – with each building serving a specific purpose.

The main structure within the kauhale household complex was the common house, or hale noa, in which all the family members slept at night. It was the largest building within a family compound and the most weatherproof.  (Loubser)

Other structures included hale mua (men's meeting/eating house,) hale ʻāina (women’s eating house,) hale peʻa (menstruation house) and other needed structures (those for canoe makers, others used to house fishing gear, etc.)

The terrain and the subsistence lifestyle and economy created the dispersed community of scattered homesteads.  Typically a Hawaiian family’s homestead stood in relative isolation.

Where homesteads were assembled near each other, they were not communities held together either by bonds of kinship or economic interdependence.

“Go into any of these valleys, and you will see a surprising sight: along the whole narrow bottom, and climbing often in terraces the steep hillsides, you will see the little taro patches, skillfully laid so as to catch the water, either directly from the main stream, or from canals taking water out above.”

“Nearby or among these small holdings stand the grass houses of the proprietors, and you may see them and their wives, their clothing tucked up, standing over their knees in water, planting or cultivating their crop.”  (Nordhoff, 1875)

Fishermen and their families living around the bays and beaches, or at isolated localities along the coast where fishing was practicable, led a life that was materially simpler than that of planters who dwelt on the plains.

Placement and occasional collection of kauhale was more of a functional pattern.

Kauhale means homestead, and when there were a number of kauhale close together the same term was used.  The old Hawaiians had no conception of village or town as a corporate social entity; there was no term for village.

The kauhale were scattered near streams in valley bottoms; each family kauhale was right beside its lo'i.  A spring (or springs) was sometimes the reason for a village-like conglomeration of homesteads – again, families focused on the water source.

Small bays and beaches generally had a cluster of houses where the families of fishermen lived – it was primarily because of the proximity to access to the ocean.

Kamakau noted, in early Hawaiʻi “The parents were masters over their own family group … No man was made chief over another.”  Essentially, the extended family was the socio, biological, economic and political unit.

Because each ʻohana (family) was served by a parental haku (master, overseer) and each family was self-sufficient and capable of satisfying its own needs, there was no need for a hierarchal structure.

The Hawaiian concept of family, ‘ʻohana, is derived from the word ʻohā (fig., offspring, youngsters,) the axillary shoots of kalo that sprout from the main corm, the makua (parent.)  Huli, cut from the tops of mauka, and ‘ohā are then used for replanting to regenerate the cycle of kalo production.

The true ‘community’ in which homesteads were integrated by socio-religious and economic ties was the dispersed community of the family (ʻohana,) relatives by blood, marriage and adoption.

Neighborly interdependence, the sharing of goods and services, resulted in the settling of contiguous lands by a given ʻohana within an ahupuaʻa (rather than in a scattering over an entire district.)

Kamakau states that there were no chiefs in the earliest period of settlement but that they came “several hundred years afterward … when men became numerous.”

As the population increased and wants and needs increased in variety and complexity (and it became too difficult to satisfy them with finite resources,) the need for chiefly rule became apparent.

As chiefdoms developed, the simple pecking order of titles and status likely evolved into a more complex and stratified structure.

While conquest and war resulted in periodic changes in leadership, there was a relative stability and permanence for the families and their kauhale.  As a practical matter it was to the benefit of the chiefs to keep the farmers and fishers on the land they knew and cultivated.

Thus, the kauhale, the homesites of established ʻohana, were permanent features of the landscape, and the vested interest of any given family was equivalent to a title of ownership, so long as the landsman labored diligently to sustain his claim and was loyal to his chief.  (Lots of information here from Handy and Pukui.)

The image shows a drawing of a kauhale - homestead.  In addition, I have added other images in a folder of like name in the Photos section on my Facebook and Google+ pages.

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Sunday, July 20, 2014

Penguin Bank

“As for the depths themselves, the greatest yet discovered … was the Penguin Deep, discovered by the British vessel Penguin (in 1896) north of New Zealand where a depth of 5,155 fathoms was found.”  (New York Tribune, January 25, 1920)  (Four years later, the USS Nero instruments registered a depth of 5,269 fathoms - almost six miles.)

HMS Penguin was an Osprey-class sloop (United Kingdom, later Australia.) Launched on 1876, Penguin was operated by the Royal Navy from 1877 to 1881, then from 1886 to 1889.

She was 170 feet long, had a beam of 36 feet, a draft of 15 feet 9 inches and had a displacement of 1,130 tons.  The propulsion machinery consisted of a single engine that gave her a top speed of 9.9 knots and a maximum range of 1,480 nautical miles (1,700 mi.) (She was also Barque rigged.) The standard ship’s company was 140-strong.

After being converted to a survey vessel, Penguin was recommissioned in 1890, and conducted survey work around the Western Pacific islands, New Zealand and the Great Barrier Reef until 1908, when she was demasted and transferred to the Australian Commonwealth Naval Forces for use as a depot and training ship in Sydney Harbor.

After this force became the Royal Australian Navy, the sloop was commissioned as HMAS Penguin in 1913. Penguin remained in naval service until 1924, when she was sold off and converted into a floating crane. (The vessel survived until 1960, when she was broken up and burnt.)

In addition to finding the deepest bottom of the ocean (at the time, as noted above,) Penguin was involved in finding other ocean bottoms – one happened in Hawaiʻi.

Let’s step back a bit.

Hawaiʻi is the world’s most-isolated populated-place.  In round numbers, we are 5,000-miles from Washington DC, New York, Florida, Australia, Philippines, Hong Kong & the North Pole; 4,000-miles from Chicago, Tokyo, New Zealand & Guam and 2,500-miles from Los Angeles, all other West Coast cities, Samoa, Alaska & Mexico.

While, today, technology keeps us constantly and instantly in touch and aware of world events, the same was not true in the past.  Prior to the beginning of the 20th century, you had at least a one-week time lag in receiving “news” (that arrived via ships.)

At the time, Great Britain and its possessions were spread across the globe.  Communicating between these holdings created challenges.

Step in Sir Sandford Fleming, a Scottish-born Canadian engineer and inventor.  Among other feats, he proposed worldwide standard time zones, designed Canada's first postage stamp, and, in 1862, Fleming had submitted a plan to the Government for a trans-Canada railway.

In the same year, he was appointed Chief Engineer of the British-Australian Telegraph Company.  Fleming was one of the staunch advocates for a Pacific telegraph cable.

A Colonial Conference held in Sydney in 1877 passed resolutions concerning a Pacific cable, one of which sought subsidies from the US Government for a cable running from the United States to New Zealand.

In 1879, Fleming wrote to the Telegraph and Signal Service in Ottawa about the railway and cable:  “If these connections are made we shall have a complete overland telegraph from the Atlantic to the Pacific coast.”

“It appears to me to follow that, as a question of imperial importance, the British possessions to the west of the Pacific Ocean should be connected by submarine cable with the Canadian line. Great Britain will thus be brought into direct communication with all the greater colonies and dependencies without passing through foreign countries.”

The completion of the Canadian Pacific Railway in 1885, and with it a telegraph line across Canada, strengthened Fleming’s position. The decision to extend the railway to Vancouver in 1886 helped even more.  (atlantic-cable)

At the 1893 Australasian Conference held in Sydney the Postmaster General of New South Wales suggested laying a cable from New Caledonia (already linked to Australia by cable) to Fiji, Honolulu and San Francisco.

That brings us back to the Penguin. She was commissioned to make soundings and survey areas for suitable cable routes and station locations.

That brought her to Hawaiʻi.

“The Penguin left Sydney on April 10, proceeding by way of Suva Fiji to Palmyra Island, where a party was landed to observe the tides.  The steamer then proceeded to the north and made an accurate survey of Kingman reef, which was found to be sixty miles due north of Palmyra Island.  (The Sun (NY,) July 30, 1897)

“The British survey steamer Penguin, which arrived (in Honolulu) yesterday, has just completed the preliminary survey for the Australian-British Columbian cable. She ran a line of soundings from Palmyra Island to a point 300-miles to the southward of Honolulu, finding and average depth of 2,700 fathoms. After spending three weeks here in receiving general repairs the Penguin will return to Palmyra Island and run a line of soundings southwest to Sydney.”  (The Sun (NY,) July 30, 1897)

The Penguin made another discovery here.

“The Penguin … must await stores and advices before resuming her survey work, but in the interim will make an accurate survey of the shoal discovered to the southward, sailing from here on the 12th for that purpose, and returning again later.”  (The Hawaiian Star, August 7, 1897)

“HBMS Penguin will leave at daylight tomorrow to survey a shoal near this group, expecting to be back Sunday morning.”  (Evening Bulletin, August 11, 1897)

"Although the officers aboard the Penguin were loathe to give any information it was learned that at about 10 o'clock on Tuesday night (July 20, 1897) and while about 30-miles of the Island of Oʻahu, the 'tell-tale' of the ship showed that a shoal 26-fathoms below the surface of the water, had been struck."  (Pacific Commercial, July 22, 1897; Clark)

The name of the shoal appears to have varied early names.

“The steamer JA Cummins went off fishing with a party of excursionists this morning.  The steamer will cruise about Kamehameha shoal (the new reef discovered by HBMS Penguin) and return tonight or early tomorrow.”  (Evening Bulletin, September 11, 1897)

“The Albatross started from Honolulu on July 9.  She first went dredging at the Penguin shoal and went from there to Puako, on Hawaii.”  (Evening Bulletin, July 29, 1902)

Today, it's more commonly referred to as Penguin Bank.

Penguin Bank (about 20 miles long and 10 miles wide within the Kaiwi Channel) is the eroded summit of a sunken volcano, now a broad submarine shelf off Molokaʻi Island with depths of less than 200 feet deep. It is capped with sand and fossil corals. The Bank is generally too deep for most live corals and is a relatively barren habitat compared to shallower waters nearby. The base rock is lava of the same kind that forms Molokaʻi Island.  (Grays Harbor)

It was one of the seven principal volcanoes (along with West Molokaʻi, East Molokaʻi, Lānaʻi, West Maui, East Maui and Kahoʻolawe) that formerly constituted of Maui Nui.

The top of Penguin Bank and other banks and shelves throughout the Pacific basin are found at similar depths, because these banks were formed by an interplay between reef growth and past low stands of global sea level.  (Agegian)

Penguin Bank is noted for highest concentrations of humpback whales during their winter sojourns in Hawaiʻi. While in Hawaiʻi, Humpback Whales are found in shallow coastal waters, usually less than 300-feet. The average water depth in Penguin Banks is around 200-feet, but water depths can range from about 150-feet to 600-feet.  (NOAA)

It's also one of Hawaiʻi's premier fishing sites.  “Yachts May Cruise – The yachtsmen are thinking of making a cruise starting Saturday and returning Monday night, Monday being Labor Day.  Two plans are at present being discussed.  One is to go to Waianae and remain off that place fishing.  The other plan is a more extensive on.  It is to go to Penguin Shoal on the west coast of Molokaʻi to fish, returning Monday via Rabbit Island, where the yachtsmen may stop for a day’s rabbit and bird shooting.”  (Evening Bulletin, September 1, 1904)

In 1902, when the first submarine cable across the Pacific was completed (landing in Waikīkī at Sans Souci Beach) linking the US mainland to Hawaiʻi, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and Fiji and Guam to the Philippines in 1903.   (The first Atlantic submarine cable, connecting Europe with the USA, was completed in 1866.)

The image shows the Penguin.  In addition, I have added other images in a folder of like name in the Photos section on my Facebook and Google+ pages.

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Saturday, July 19, 2014

Nanaʻulu – Ulu

He aina loaʻa i ka moana
I hoea mai loko o ka ale
I ka halehale poi pu a Kanaloa
He Koakea i halelo i ka wai
I lou i ka makau a ka lawaia
A ka lawaia nui o Kapaahu
A ke lawaia nui o Kapuheeuanuu-la
A pae na waa, kau mai
E holo, e ai ia Hawaiʻi he moku
He moku Hawaii

A land that was found in the ocean
That was thrown up from the sea
From the very depths of Kanaloa
The white coral in the watery caves
That was caught on the hook of the fisherman,
The great fisherman of Kapaahu,
The great fisherman, Kapuheeuanuu
The canoes touch the shore, come on board
Go and possess Hawaii, the island
An island is Hawaii
(From the chant of Makuakaumana when Pāʻao’s invites a chief to come and live on Hawaiʻi.)

Papa and Wākea are the ancestors of the Hawaiian people. “Papa” in Hawaiʻi is “a word applied to any flat surface,” especially to those undersea foundation layers from which new lands are said to rise.

This probably relates to the successive generations of mankind born out of the vast waters of the spirit world and identified through their family leaders with the lands which they inhabit.

In the South Seas, Papa is a goddess of earth and the underworld and mother of gods.  Wākea is god of light and of the heavens who “opens the door of the sun”.  (Beckwith)

“In the genealogy of Wākea it is said that Papa gave birth to these Islands. Another account has it that this group of islands were not begotten, but really made by the hands of Wākea himself.”  (Malo)

“Papa gives birth to a gourd, which forms a calabash and its cover. Wākea throws up the cover and it becomes the sky. He throws up the pulp and it becomes the sun; the seeds, and they become the stars …”

“… the white lining of the gourd, and it becomes the moon; the ripe white meat, and it becomes the clouds; the juice he pours over the clouds and it becomes rain. Of the calabash itself Wākea makes the land and the ocean.”  (Kamakau)

Hawaiian legends suggest the place to which Hawaiians frequently sailed for centuries was usually Kahiki or Tahiti, the old home of the family of ruling chiefs.    (Westerfelt)

Thirteen generations after Papa and Wākea, Kiʻi and his wife Hinakoula appear.  Kiʻi was king in the Southern Pacific Islands – at Tahiti, the chief island of the Society group.   (Westerfelt)  They had two sons, Nanaʻulu and Ulu – they came to the Hawaiian Islands and established a dynasty of high chiefs.

It has been suggested that Ulu remained in the southern islands and that Nanaulu alone found his way to Hawaii; but the frequent use of the name Ulu in the genealogies of the chiefs of the two large islands, Hawaiʻi and Maui, would support the position that the brothers, sailing together, found Hawaiʻi.  (Westerfelt)

Eleven generations from Nanaʻulu and Ulu, Nanamaoa, of the southern Ulu line, pioneered the first migratory influx to the Hawaiian Islands. He was a warlike chief who succeeded in establishing his family in power on Hawaiʻi, Maui and Oʻahu.  (Sands)

Later on Oʻahu, three major competing districts developed out of earlier small and independent political units. These districts were Kona, Koʻolau (later divided into Koʻolauloa and Koʻolaupoko), and Greater Ewa (the later districts of ʻEwa, Waianae and Waialua.)

About AD 1100, thirteen generations from Nanaʻulu and Ulu came Maweke of the northern Nanaʻulu line. Maweke is one of the main figures in the voyaging era of Hawaiian traditions.  With Maweke, the lineage of ancient Polynesia was transformed into a distinctly Hawaiian lineage.
Likewise, about this time on the Island of Hawaiʻi, the island was divided into competing district-sized chiefdoms. In general, there were three centers of power during this period:  Waipiʻo Valley in the windward region, Kona in the leeward area and Kohala on the northern end of the Island.

Pilikaeaea, the chief, brought by Pāʻao from Tahiti to rule Hawaiʻi, first established his reign in Waipiʻo Valley.  Through inter-marriage with descendants of the Nanaʻulu or Ulu line of indigenous rulers he established the Pili line of rulers in Waipiʻo, from whom Kamehameha ultimately descended.  (McGregor)

Kūkaniloko, the sacred place of birth on the central plateau may have been constructed by the late-AD-1300s.  A divine center for Nanaʻulu chiefs, to be born at Kūkaniloko signified legitimacy.  It is said that chiefs from other islands often sought greater prestige by marrying those with these strong ancestral lineages.

During the wars of interisland unification in the eighteenth century, the indigenous ruling Nanaʻulu chiefs of Oʻahu were practically exterminated, first by invaders from Maui, then by the warriors of Kamehameha I of Hawaiʻi Island.    (Klieger)

The image shows a general genealogical Chart from Papa and Wākea, to Kiʻi, to Nanaʻulu and Ulu, with several names noted.  (Emory)

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Friday, July 18, 2014


Waikīkī (“water spurting from many sources”) ahupuaʻa lies between Honolulu (from the west side of Makiki Valley) and Maunalua (the east side of Wailupe) - essentially from Piʻikoi Street to the ʻĀina Haina/Niu Valley boundary.

Three main valleys Makiki, Mānoa, and Pālolo are mauka of Waikīkī and through them their respective streams (and springs in Mānoa (Punahou and Kānewai)) watered the marshland below.

As they entered the flat Waikīkī Plain (and merge and separate,) the names of the streams changed; the Mānoa became the Kālia and the Pālolo became the Pāhoa (they joined near Hamohamo (now an area mauka of the Kapahulu Library.))

While at the upper elevations, the streams have the ahupuaʻa names, at lower elevations, after merging/dividing, they have different names, as they enter the ocean, Pi‘inaio, ‘Āpuakēhau and Kuekaunahi.

The Pi‘inaio (Makiki) entered the sea at Kālia (near what is now Fort DeRussy as a wide delta (kahawai.))  The ‘Āpuakēhau (Mānoa and Kālia,) also called the Muliwai o Kawehewehe (“the stream that opens the way” on some maps,) emptied in the ocean at Helumoa (between the Royal Hawaiian and Moana Hotels.)

The Kuekaunahi (Pālolo) once emptied into the sea at Hamohamo (near the intersection of ‘Ōhua and Kalākaua Avenues.)  The land between these three streams was called Waikolu, meaning “three waters.”

Pālolo valley, within the ahupuaʻa of Waikīkī, has ʻili for kalo (taro loʻi) and forest products that benefitted other portions of the ahupuaʻa (such as ʻĀina Haina, Wailupe, Niu and areas near the beach) – they are essentially ʻili lele (jumping ʻili) that provide these resource lands (wetland for kalo and mauka forest lands) to the other areas of the ahupuaʻa that do not have them.

According to legend, Kākuhihewa, Māʻilikūkahi’s descendent six generations later, encountered the supernatural rooster, “Kaʻauhelemoa” who flew from Pālolo valley and landed at Waikīkī to challenge Kākuhihewa by scratching the ground.  The place was then named "Helumoa" which means "chicken scratch."

Kākuhihewa felt that the appearance of the supernatural rooster was an omen, so he planted a grove of trees, which later multiplied into an estimated 10,000-coconut trees (this is the area in and around the Sheraton Waikīkī hotel.)

Fast forward a few centuries.

Pālolo Valley was once home to a golf course, rock quarry, two dairies and, during World War II, an airfield.

Pālolo Elementary School first opened its doors in September 1921 under the leadership of Principal William Kekepa. Its first buildings were converted military barracks and the school was next to a golf course.

Opened in 1931, the nine-hole Pālolo course was first one open to the masses (the Islands’ first course, Moanalua Valley course, opened in 1898; Oʻahu Country Club opened in 1906, Waiʻalae in 1928.)  Later, that golf course was turned into a public housing project that is now Pālolo Valley Homes.

A May 1941 article in the Honolulu Advertiser titled "Army Maps Areas to Be Evacuated in Event of Emergency" informed civilians that 86,000-persons living in Honolulu resided in danger zones, and that half would have to evacuate in the event of a war.  (Johnson)

The Pālolo evacuation camp, which the Office of Civilian Defense had erected in case of another Japanese attack, was later turned over to the Hawaiʻi Housing Authority (HHA) and converted into wartime public housing for several hundred families.  (HHF)

Additional shelters for evacuees were built in Pālolo; however, they were "held in readiness for evacuees in connection with (another) attack."  The Pālolo Valley Camp never accommodated Islanders displaced after the initial attack on December 7. A memorandum written in February 1942 confirmed that Pālolo remained unoccupied.

The HHA also developed public housing.  Members of a Congressional subcommittee, which came to investigate Honolulu’s housing situation (in Pālolo and elsewhere) in March 1945, learned of “hot bed apartments” where as many as eighteen men occupied one room in three shifts.

With the conclusion of World War II, the Pālolo School Camp was closed as they were deemed unsatisfactory for occupancy.  The Pālolo Evacuation Camp adjacent to the 362-unit emergency housing project in Pālolo remained in operation.

Pālolo provided post-war housing opportunities; a three-bedroom home in 1950 cost about $11,500.  In 1955, the Pālolo Golf Course was replaced by Jarrett Middle School and the Pālolo Valley District Park.  More housing was also provided.

Jarrett Middle School was established in 1955. The school was named in honor of William Paul Jarrett (1877-1929,) who was a delegate to the US Congress when Hawaiʻi was a Territory. Mr Jarrett gained national and international recognition for his efforts as a humanitarian.

After it closed in 1951, the rock quarry became a 200-home residential subdivision and the airfield was developed into Pālolo Valley Housing.  (Shellabarger)  (Lots of information here from Green and Johnson.)

The image shows a map of Pālolo in 1881.  In addition, I have added other related images in a folder of like name in the Photos section on my Facebook and Google+ pages.

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Thursday, July 17, 2014

Kimo Pelekane

James Isaac Dowsett was born to Samuel James Dowsett (born in Rochester, Kent, England 1794 – lost at sea in 1834) and Mary Bishop Dowsett (Rochester, Kent, England; 1808 – 1860) in Honolulu, December 15, 1829 (said to have been the first white child, not of missionary parentage, born in Hawaiʻi.

Samuel and Mary married in Australia. A ship captain, Samuel did shipping business in Australia and was into whaling. Samuel first arrived in Hawaiʻi in 1822 when he was first officer of the “Mermaid,” accompanying the “Prince Regent,” a gift-ship from King George IV of England to King Kamehameha I, promised to the King by George Vancouver.

Samuel returned with his wife on July 17, 1828, arriving on the brig Wellington; they set up their home in Hawaiʻi at that time.  Samuel and Mary had 4 children, James, Samuel Henry, Elizabeth Jane and Deborah Melville.

“The house in which (James) first saw the light of day and which was built by his father, still stands and is occupied. It is the 2-story building in Union street, next to the old bell tower fire station.”  (Hawaiian Gazette, June 17, 1898; the house is now gone)

During his youth, Dowsett was a playmate of Kamehameha IV, Kamehameha V and future King Lunalilo.  James was less than five years old when in 1834 his father sailed away on a pearl fishing expedition and was lost at sea.

In his school days Dowsett was associated with Romualdo Pacheco (who later became Governor California; Pacheco was sent to Hawaiʻi from California to be educated in the islands, a custom followed extensively in early days by parents who sought the best schools for their children.)

Dowsett was hardly more than twelve when he was hired by the Hudson's Bay Co, but continued his schooling on the side. (His mother refused offers of remarriage and remained a widow until her death.)  In the early-1860s he entered the whaling business, owning a fleet of whaling ships.

“He did not care for public office. Had he yearned for political preferment, any office was at his disposal for many years. He was appointed a Noble of the Kingdom by Kamehameha III and was friend and confident of Kamehameha IV and V.”

“His advice was often sought by the monarchs and was given as one entirely disinterested and be held the trust of those in the highest positions as well as the implicit confidence of the common people. He was a great favorite with the native Hawaiians and spoke their language beautifully.”  (Hawaiian Gazette, June 17, 1898)  The Hawaiians called him "Kimo Pelekane" (Jim the Englishman.)

Besides his whaling activities, Mr. Dowsett engaged in the lumber business and owned a fleet of schooners and small steamers operating between the islands.

Dowsett also had extensive ranching interests; properties now occupied by Schofield Barracks, Fort Shafter, Wheeler Army Airfield and Lualualei were once pastures for Dowsett’s cattle and horses.  He also once owned ʻUlupalakua Ranch.

He was engaged in ranching as early as 1850, and a medal was awarded him at the Agricultural Fair at the time for the best pair of “working oxen.” Dowsett was the first rancher to import Aberdeen Angus stock to Hawaiʻi.

Puʻuloa Salt Works (property of Dowsett) “are at the west side of the entrance to Pearl River, and the windmill is a prominent object in the landscape as we enter. It is also one of the guides in steeling vessels inward.  On the eastern side and opposite to the Puʻuloa buildings, is the fishery, where are a number of buildings inhabited by Chinamen.”  (Daily Bulletin, January 6, 1889)

Dowsett married Annie Green Ragsdale of Honolulu and they were the parents of thirteen children, James Isaac, Jr, Alexander, Phoebe K, Edward Ragsdale, Mary K, Alexander Cartwright, Annie K, Elizabeth Jane, David A, Rowena N, Samuel Henry K, Marion C and Genevieve N.

“Mr. Dowsett was a man of kindly, genial disposition. It was a habit of his for a number of years to make a trip to Waikiki each evening in a street car. It was genuine treat to be a passenger with him.”

“It was a study for one not acquainted with him to watch him in the car and to see all the natives and even the Chinese pay their respects to him on entering the car. Everybody knew who he was and strangers liked him in advance, while those who came to speaking terms with him valued the privilege.”

“He was a quick thinker and an excellent reasoner and while not a talkative man was always willing to supply any information from his great storehouse that might be useful to another or that might interest an inquirer.”

“He knew the town, the people and the country. He never left the Islands but once in his whole life and then four days in San Francisco was enough of life in foreign parts. He was a perfect encyclopedia of history and biography not only of Honolulu and Oahu, but of the entire group.”

“The common suggestion to one in search of obscure historical data was to go to Mr. Dowsett and he never failed. He could always supply day and date and all required details.”   (Hawaiian Gazette, June 17, 1898)

Dowsett was one of the founders of the British Club, now the Pacific Club of Honolulu, and was a trustee of The Queen’s Hospital from its establishment.

Dowsett took on Chung Kun Ai as his protégé, allowing Ai to use a portion of his warehouse, and Ai started importing cigars, tea, peanut oil, shoe nails and other items. Ai and others later started City Mill, a rice milling and lumber importing business in Chinatown, Honolulu.  The City Mill building on Nimitz was dedicated to Dowsett.

“Dowsett saw the grass hut replaced by the stone business block and the taro patch filled up for mansion site. He saw the little paths become fine streets and the broad and barren plains thickly populated districts. He saw the life of a nation change. ... Through all this he was a close observer and always on the side of what was right and just.”   (Hawaiian Gazette, June 17, 1898)

Dowsett died on June 14, 1898; “news of the death of Mr. Dowsett had been sent all over the Island and the Hawaiians in large numbers joined the throng of haoles calling to pay respects and offer consolation.”

“The older Hawaiians could not restrain themselves at all and gave vent to floods of tears and to strange wailings. They were overpowered and overcome by the thought that no more would they have the friendly greeting, the certain and reliable advice or the material assistance of the one who had been their reliance at all times and upon all occasions for so many years.”     (Hawaiian Gazette, June 17, 1898)

Subsequent Dowsett generations were also generous; in 1930, Herbert M. Dowsett, Llewellyn F Dowsett and Aileen Dowsett White donated 7-acres and their family estate on Punahou Street to the Shriners Hospital.  Dowsett Avenue and Ragsdale Place in Dowsett Tract and Highlands in Nuʻuanu are named after James and Annie.

The image shows James Isaac Dowsett (Hawaiian Gazette.) In addition, I have added other images in a folder of like name in the Photos section on my Facebook and Google+ pages.

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